A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 18, 2011
Devil’s Metal (silver nickname)

Nickel has long been called the “devil’s copper” or the “devil’s metal.” Copper is called “Kupfer” in German and nickel is “Kupfernickel.” The nickel ore looks like copper, which was more valuable in the Middle Ages. The nickname “St. Nicholas’ copper” was used. (The devil was known as “Old Nick.”)
Silver was not known as the “devil’s metal” until June 2010, when HSBC metals trader John Levin used the term to describe silver’s price volatility. Silver’s new nickname of “devil’s metal” was quickly repeated on blogs and in newspaper articles.
Silver has also been nicknamed “the people’s money” (since 1885), “poor man’s gold” (popularized in the 1970s), “gold’s little brother” (since 2007) and the “common man’s metal” (popularized in 2010).
Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Old Nick noun \ˈōl(d)-ˈnik\
Definition of OLD NICK
—used as a name of the devil
First Known Use of OLD NICK
circa 1643
Google Books
November 1915, The Brass World, pg. 457, col. 1:
It should be explained that Kupfer nickel gave the original name to the metal under discussion. Kupfer nickel looks so exactly like copper (kupfer) ore that attempts were made to get the copper out of it. It has no copper in its composition, so it was supposed to be bewitched, and the gentleman known as “Old Nick” was credited with the bewitchment. So nickel is the devil’s metal.
Fun Trivia
Which element was named after the Devil, from the German for “Devil’s copper?”
Question #41897. Asked by simplesummer. (Dec 03 03 3:18 AM)
Senior Moments
Nickel which came from German kupfernickel which translates as’Devil’s copper’ or ‘St. Nicholas’ Copper’
Dec 03 03, 3:21 AM
Senior Moments
The metal had first come to the attention of German miners in the Middle Ages who cursed it as the Devil’s metal because it interfered with the smelting of copper.
Dec 03 03, 3:33 AM
Silver - “the Devil’s metal - like gold on crack”
Top HSBC metals trader John Levin on his love-hate relationship with silver in his day to day business and some fascinating insights into the current views of major asset managers.

Author: Lawrence Williams
Posted:  Thursday , 10 Jun 2010
In opening his presentation to the FT’s first Silver Conference, held at the London Stock Exchange yesterday, HSBC’s Managing Director of Global Metals and Trading, John Levin, apologised for just being a trader – not an analyst – and proceeded to give some fascinating insights of views on silver trading from the sharp end.  He started by describing silver as “the Devil’s metal” as far as a trader is concerned based on how difficult it is to trade poor man’s gold in normal market conditions.  But then in an answer to a question at the end he described silver as “like gold on crack” which was primarily a reference to the volatility which can be seen in the silver price, and a reflection on the attitudes of many silver investors.
Silver Investment: “Buy and Hold Beats Trading” - 11 June 2010
SILVER TRADING can be so volatile, it’s known as “the devil’s metal…gold on crack” joked HSBC Bank’s managing director of Global Metals & Trading John Levin at a London conference on Wednesday.
Opening the Financial Times’ inaugural Silver Investment Conference, held at the London Stock Exchange, Levin said the metal remains “as big an enigma to me now” as when he started trading precious metals 18 years ago.
Silver Bullion
Silver Soars As Speculators Dive Into The Devil’s Metal
Friday, October 15th, 2010
ll it a moot madness if you must, but 0 fascination rates are forcing instead prudent money savers the world over to look for out hard-asset insurance for their wealth.
Traders Accuse HSBC, JPMorgan Of Silver Manipulation
Parmy Olson, 10.28.10, 10:35 AM EDT
Silver, known as “the devil’s metal” among traders, has seen futures prices rise dramatically from $10 an ounce two years ago to about $24 this month.
Wall Street Journal
APRIL 13, 2011, 9:56 A.M. ET
‘Devil’s Metal’ Tempts Once More
The price of silver appears on course to hit $50 a troy ounce or more. But the gains have been driven largely by investors and hot money, rather than industrial demand, making the metal particularly vulnerable to swings in sentiment.
“People are always nervous about silver, and there is a good reason why they call it the devil’s metal,” says UBS analyst Edel Tully. “While $50 an ounce is quite possible, given the current silver fever we’re seeing, people are likely to begin to back profits and run for the hills at some point.”
Fresh Finance by Anibal Acevedo
May 13, 2011
The Devil’s Metal
That’s one of the names given to silver due to the dramatic oscillations its price has experienced during the last 12 months.
Posted: July 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm
The Devil’s Metal Redux… Is Silver Above $40 Just Another Death Trap? (SLV, SIVR, PSLV, ZSL, SIL, SLW, PAAS)
As the politicians in America play chicken with our prized Triple-A debt rating and as Europe is succumbing to its PIIGS, gold has eclipsed $1600 per ounce and now it has helped to pull silver back above that magical $40.00 mark.  Maybe this time is different, but the massive run the last time felt like it took mere days (or hours) for silver to run up to $48 from under $35… That was from mid-March to late-April.  Then the bubble popped and all the silver bugs were handed their costly bill for dabbling in the market at the peak.  Silver’s rise above $40 again begs us to ask, “Is the Devil’s metal just bringing a new chance for investors to get burned?”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Monday, July 18, 2011 • Permalink

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